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Nation and world briefs


Illinois dioceses sued over clergy abuse allegations

CHICAGO — Attorney Jeff Anderson, who has represented clergy abuse victims nationwide, filed a lawsuit Oct. 18 in Chicago against all six Catholic dioceses in Illinois and the Illinois Catholic Conference for what he described as an ongoing effort to cover up clergy sexual abuse. The lawsuit wants the state’s dioceses to release all of their records on abusive priests. Anderson filed the suit along with three others who said they were sexually abused by priests. The lawsuit does not seek damages and only claims instances of abuse against children in three dioceses — Rockford, Peoria and Springfield — but according to Anderson, all of the dioceses have had a role in covering up clergy sexual abuse. The claims of abuse cited date from the early 1970s through the late 1990s. All of the dioceses issued statements in response to the suit. Their statements have been posted on the website of the Illinois Catholic Conference, www.bit.ly/2J7Z74I.

God’s love ‘real, profound’ and can change your life, speakers tell youth 

CARROLL, Iowa — Keynote speakers at the annual Rekindle event for teens in the Diocese of Sioux City emphasized God’s love to those in attendance, something that seems to be lost on today’s young people. “That’s because they spend their day in search of constant validation,” said recording artist Noelle Garcia. “So much has to do with being validated on social media.” “Their culture is such an influence on them,” added Sean Forrest, another speaker with a music background. “I tell them don’t let your emotions deceive you into making choices. You need your heart, but you also need your intellect.” The main speakers shared their faith journeys with more than 500 students in seventh through 12th grade at Kuemper High School in Carroll. Four breakout sessions and a service project rounded out the day in early October. This year’s Rekindle theme was “The Gift of God that Is Within You.”


Pope, meeting South Korean leader, says he’s open to visiting North

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis, at a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, said he is willing to visit North Korea. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had asked Moon to tell the pope of the invitation. According to Yonhap, the Korean news agency, Moon’s press secretary told reporters the pope said he would accept “if an (official) invitation arrives and I can go.’” Meeting the South Korean president Oct. 18, the pope praised Moon’s efforts to promote peace in the Korean peninsula. In a statement released after the meeting, the Vatican said Pope Francis and Moon discussed the Church’s role in promoting “dialogue and reconciliation between Koreans. Strong appreciation was expressed for the common commitment to fostering all useful initiatives to overcome the tensions that still exist in the Korean Peninsula, in order to usher in a new season of peace and development,” the Vatican said.

Indian priest, witness against bishop accused of rape, found dead

JALANDHAR, India — A Catholic priest considered a prime witness against an Indian bishop accused of rape has been found dead, with his family suspecting foul play. However, local medical staff said he had a series of health problems. Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, 67, was found dead inside his room in Jalandhar Oct. 22, a week after Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar was granted bail by the state court in Kerala and went back to his diocese. Ucanews.com reported Father Kattuthara gave testimony against Bishop Mulakkal, who has been accused of raping a nun repeatedly between 2014 and 2016. The priest’s brother said family members believe the priest was killed for his strong stand against the bishop, saying that “he was under tremendous pressure” to retract his statements against the bishop. Medical staff at Sacred Heart Hospital in Jalandhar said Father Kattuthara was a chronic patient receiving treatment for hypertension and diabetes. “His blood pressure and sugar levels were dangerously high when he visited us a week ago,” said Sister Laila Jose, a doctor at the hospital.

— Catholic News Service

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